Becoming a hospital in 1946, Al-Shifa is the largest medical complex and central hospital in the Gaza Strip.
Disinformation experts and social media users around the world have called out Israel for a viral video that attempted to portray an alleged “Palestinian” nurse backing Israeli claims on Hamas fighters at Gaza’s largest hospital.
The video, shared by an account claiming to be a “part time intelligence and news aggregator”, shows the alleged nurse at Al Shifa hospital speaking out against Hamas.
“Oh God, I can’t believe I’m doing this, but the world has to know what Hamas is making here. They are taking over the entire hospital, taking over the fuel; the medicine; I have nothing to treat with. I have to fix a fracture,” the actress states in the video, as sounds of fake bombs are heard in the clip.
Donning crisp white medical robe and face mask, the nurse claims she is attempting to aid a five-year-old boy without morphine but can’t do so because Hamas took the medicine.
The actress then ends the video with a plea in broken Arabic, calling on Palestinians to “leave Al Shifa”.
However, social media users across the world were quick to call out the theatrics.
The Community Note also highlights the individual’s Israeli accent and inability to speak Arabic.
“In addition to her Israeli accent that is clearly obvious when she speaks Arabic due to her inability to pronounce letters like ع،ح,” the note adds.
Marc Owen Jones, an associate professor of Middle East Studies at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar and an expert on disinformation and digital media, described the nurse’s testimony as “clearly staged.”
Breaking down the different factors of the video, Jones said the video is “fairly obvious propaganda” for several reasons.
“No staff recognise her, terrible non-Palestinian accent and unusual vocabulary, possibly an Israeli accent, overly contrived IDF (Israel Defense Forces) talking points,” Jones wrote on his social media accounts.
Jones also said pointed to the shot of the Palestinian health ministry logo behind the individual and suggested it was conveniently set up.
“Perfectly in-shot Palestinian health ministry logo aka faux ‘OSINT’ honeytrap, immaculate white coat despite dire conditions, showing face despite condemning Hamas, stock audio-like bombing sounds, contrived waving of medical props – stethoscope, seeming discomfort in hijab – as if not used to wearing one,” the associate professor added.
Several users chimed in with their own analysis of the video, which they said was deception intended to divert attention from Israeli’s intensified attacks around hospitals.
Israel has long-claimed Hamas fighters use hospitals and health facilities to launch their attacks, despite numerous investigations and live testimonies from medics working inside the buildings debunking such claims.
The occupying state has faced growing international pressure for its indiscriminate attacks on hospitals, which began with the devastating airstrike on the Christian-run Al Ahli Hospital in October, in which at least 500 Palestinians were killed.
Thousands of Palestinians have been using hospitals for urgent and life-saving treatment as well as crucial shelters amid the ongoing Israeli bombardment of the Strip.
Over the last few days, Israel has intensified its air attacks on hospitals as ground forces encircled the facilities. According to Al Jazeera, Ahmad Mokhallalati, a surgeon at Al-Shifa Hospital said medical staff and patients “are in the middle of the warzone”.
Meanwhile, UNICEF Spokesperson Toby Fricker described conditions inside hospitals across the Gaza Strip as a tragedy.
“Imagine being a father or mother of those children and sort of watching helplessly. So it’s really catastrophic right now,” he said. “There is no safe place for children anywhere across the strip right now,” the UNICEF official added.
Also on Sunday, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) confirmed Al-Quds Hospital was no longer operational due to a lack of fuel and a power outage.
“PRCS holds the international community and signatories of the Fourth Geneva Convention accountable for the complete breakdown of the health system and the resulting dire humanitarian conditions,” it said on X.
The World Health Organization (WHO) earlier said it had lost contact with Al-Shifa Hospital.
So far, Israel has killed at least 11,078 Palestinians, including 4,506 children in its relentless bombardment of Gaza, in which it has targeted hospitals, shelters, residential buildings for more than one month.
On Saturday, Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took on Israel’s war crimes in a speech at the Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh.
Sheikh Tamim questioned the absence of action from the international community to halt such crimes add addressed Israel’s long-used claims on the alleged presence of Hamas tunnels under health facilities.
“How did bombing hospitals become a normal thing? At first it is denied and the victims are accused, then it is justified by the existence of tunnels underneath these places, then it becomes something that does not need to be justified after feelings become blunted and eyes become acclimated to seeing tragedies,” he said.
The Qatari leader added: “Who would have imagined that hospitals would be openly bombed in the twenty-first century, and that entire families would be erased from the records by the indiscriminate bombing of residential neighbourhoods and refugee camps?”
Israel he employed a range of disinformation tactics since declaring war on Gaza in early October, many of which have since been debunked.
In a now-deleted video, the embassy of Israel to the US posted a clip of a Palestinian woman with incorrect English subtitles that suggested she was condemning Hamas.
However, the Arabic-speaking woman was actually lamenting how she was only able to identify her slain son due to the belt he was wearing.
In October, US President Joe Biden faced backlash after parroting Israeli allegations of beheaded babies despite no evidence for the claims.
Biden claimed he had seen “confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children,” before the White House then backtracked on his statement.